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Lessons from Mar 2014 - Jun 2014

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"Easier" = Level 0, 1, 2 and 3   (CEFR A2 - B1).
"Harder" = Levels 4, 5 and 6   (CEFR B1 - C2).

Rare stamp sells for $9.5 million
30th June - "Harder"
A new world record has been set for the sale of a postage stamp. Not just any old stamp, but a one-of-a-kind. The 1856 British Guiana One-Cent Magenta....
Japanese show robot news readers
28th June - "Easier"
Japanese scientists have created the world's first news-reading robots. They really look and act like human beings.
2014 Brazil World Cup - Round-up 4
27th June
The group stage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup is over and we now know the line-up for the knockout stage.
Michael Schumacher medical records 'for sale'
26th June - "Harder"
Shocking as it may seem, someone appears to have stolen the medical records of Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher and is offering them for sale to...
2014 Brazil World Cup - Round-up 3
24th June
We have reached the stage of the tournament where the final games of the group stage are taking place.
New prayer house for three religions
24th June - "Easier"
A new project has started in Germany to build the world's first building where Christians, Jews and Muslims can pray. It is called the 'House of One'.
Burglary a threat to mental health
22nd June - "Harder"
A new study shows that experiencing a burglary is a serious threat to people's mental health. ...
2014 Brazil World Cup - Round-up 2
20th June
The 2014 FIFA World Cup is now in its second week and we have seen the first major shock. Reigning world champions Spain are out of the tournament.
250 extra characters added to Internet
20th June - "Easier"
The organization that looks after the code behind the Internet has included an additional 250 characters in its most recent update.
Google to launch wearable health monitor
18th June - "Harder"
Google is playing catch-up to Apple and Samsung in the race to be market leader in wearable health software. The tech giant is working on a device called ....
2014 Brazil World Cup - Round-up 1
16th June
The 2014 FIFA World Cup is well under way and there have been some great games already. The tournament opened...
N. Korea leader unhappy with weather forecasts
16th June - "Easier"
North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un is unhappy with the weather forecasts in his country.
Thai junta orders free World Cup TV for all
14th June - "Harder"
Thailand has seen its fair share of upheaval and turmoil in the past few years. In an attempt to quell public unrest......
Jennifer Lopez won't sing World Cup song
12th June - "Easier"
American singer Jennifer Lopez was supposed to perform the official song at the opening ceremony of the World Cup in Brazil.
Parents punished if kids late to school
10th June - "Harder"
Parents in the U.K. face being punished if their children are continually late for school in a new crackdown by the education secretary. ...
Workers must take lunch breaks
8th June - "Easier"
A new study shows that too many people are working through their lunch hour. Not taking a proper lunch break is unhealthy.
Koalas hug trees to stay cool
6th June - "Harder"
Scientists have unlocked one of the secrets of how koalas stay cool and avoid dehydration in the intense heat of Australian summers. ...
World Cup players must sing national anthem
4th June - "Easier"
The coach manager of the England soccer team has told his players they must sing their national anthem before each game at the FIFA World Cup.
Children can learn to eat vegetables
2nd June - "Harder"
For many parents, getting their kids to eat their greens is a constant battle. It often seems that whatever vegetables are served....
Scientists tell WHO e-cigarettes are helpful
31st May - "Easier"
A group of scientists has written to the World Health Organisation (WHO) two days before World No Tobacco Day on May the 31st.
Japan girl group AKB48 attacked with saw
29th May - "Harder"
Two members of one of Japan's most popular pop groups AKB48 were injured on Sunday. A fan attacked them with a saw while they were at a promotional event. ...
The best companies to work for
27th May - "Easier"
A new report has identified the top 25 companies in the USA to work for. The report comes out every year and always has some surprises.
 
Major supermarket bans candy from checkouts
23rd May - "Easier"
A major supermarket in the UK will soon remove all candy and chocolates from near its checkouts.
Man sues New York City for $2,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
21st May - "Harder"
A man in New York is suing the city (and others) for ....
Travel company ends 'unethical' animal tours
19th May - "Easier"
One of the world's top travel companies is ending its tours to many of the planet's top animal attractions.
No Lesson
The world's strangest hotel complaints
15th May - "Easier"
An international travel site conducted a survey on hotel complaints around the world and found some unusual things.
School lets students start lessons after lunch
13th May - "Harder"
A high school in England has initiated a new policy to allow students to sleep longer in the mornings. ...
World helps Nigeria look for kidnapped girls
11th May - "Easier"
More and more countries are offering Nigeria their support to help find the 200 schoolgirls who were kidnapped last...
Coca Cola recipe change after online petition
9th May - "Harder"
The Coca-Cola Company, the world's largest beverage maker, is amending the recipe to several of its drinks following ...
Number of children in Japan at record low
7th May - "Easier"
The number of children in Japan aged 14 and under is the lowest ever. Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs yesterday...
Michelangelo's 'David' in danger of collapse
5th May - "Harder"
Michelangelo's masterpiece statue "David" is in great danger of collapsing due to its weak ankles and the structure's 5.5-ton weight. ...
Superbugs that medicine can't kill
3rd May - "Easier"
There are many horror movies about superbugs that spread around the world and kill millions of people. The WHO has said the spread ...
New paint to say goodbye to car washes
1st May - "Harder"
The Japanese automobile manufacturer Nissan has unveiled a prototype of a self-cleaning paint that means....
Record Store Day helps sell records
29th April - "Easier"
Many younger people have never seen or played a real record – the 7-inch or 12-inch vinyl discs that people bought before CDs and MP3s...
Teachers cyber-bullied by students and parents
27th April - "Harder"
Children as young as seven are posting abusive and damaging comments about their teachers on social networking websites such as....
No Lesson
36% in UK will never buy own home
23rd April - "Harder"
House prices in the U.K. are now so high that a third of British people believe they will never buy their own home. ...
Novelist Gabriel García Márquez dies
21st April - "Easier"
Gabriel García Márquez, one of the world's greatest novelists, has died, aged 87. He passed away at his home in Mexico.
Death threats over new Banksy painting
19th April - "Harder"
A new painting by the "guerilla artist" Banksy is currently the focus of a heated argument in the city of Bristol, England. It could be ...
Companies still fixing Heartbleed bug
17th April - "Easier"
Many companies are trying to make their websites safe from a new Internet bug called Heartbleed. It is like ...
Australian wins at World Pizza Championship
15th April - "Harder"
An Australian chef has been crowned pizza king at the World Pizza Championship in Parma, Italy. ...
European leaders rap to win votes
13th April - "Easier"
European leaders tried a new way to win votes. They used rap to get young people to vote for them. More and more young people are losing interest in elections.
Doubts cast on influenza medication
11th April - "Harder"
Medical experts are questioning why so much money was spent developing and then stocking up on medications for influenza. The tablet...
Too much jogging could shorten your life
9th April - "Easier"
We all know that running a few kilometres each day is good for our health, right? Well, what we didn't know, until now, is that running too much could be bad for us.
Nigeria becomes Africa's biggest economy
7th April - "Harder"
Nigeria has changed the way it measures its gross domestic product and has announced it is now....
Turkey court says Twitter helps free speech
5th April - "Easier"
A court in Turkey has said the country's Twitter ban prevents free speech. It said that blocking Twitter takes away people's right to express themselves freely.
7 portions of fruit & vegetables a day best
3rd April - "Harder"
For many years, the nutrition message has been "five a day" – the recommendation that five portions of fruit and vegetables are ...
People want drivers to park cars on roads
1st April - "Easier"
Many people in England are angry that drivers park their cars on the pavements. Cars that are on the pavement block people from ...
11 Asian nations declared polio-free
30th March - "Harder"
The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced for the first time that South-East Asia is now free from polio. ...
Britons most afraid of heights and snakes
28th March - "Easier"
A new survey from an internet-based market research company shows the things British people are most afraid of. Top of the list is heights.
Unusual fashion gets you more respect
26th March - "Harder"
Researchers at the Harvard Business School claim that people who do not follow "normal fashion" get more respect from others. ...
Kenya to let men have many wives
24th March - "Easier"
The government in Kenya has agreed on a new law on marriage that allows men to have as many wives as they want.
$33 million Fabergé egg found at market
22nd March - "Harder"
An extremely rare antique decorative egg designed by the legendary Russian jeweller Peter Carl Fabergé has been unearthed....
No Lesson
EU votes for universal phone charger
18th March - "Harder"
Have you ever wondered why every smartphone manufacturer makes a charger for its phone that is different from the rest? Lawmakers....
Panasonic China staff to get "pollution pay"
16th March - "Easier"
Japanese electronics company Panasonic will pay its Japanese staff in China "pollution pay" because of China's poor air quality.
Chinese maths teachers to help UK schools
14th March - "Harder"
The British government is looking to China to try to improve the standard of maths in British schools.
Texting while walking is dangerous
12th March - "Easier"
Reading or writing text messages while you are walking is dangerous. A new study says it is more dangerous than texting while driving.
Minecraft video "more popular than Bieber"
10th March - "Harder"
The online game Minecraft has made a 23-year old English man millions of fans, and lots of money too....
One in three EU women experienced violence
8th March - "Easier"
About a third of all women in the European Union have experienced violence at some time in their life.
Childcare higher than housing costs in UK
6th March - "Harder"
Families in the U.K. now pay more on childcare than on their mortgage. The annual costs of raising children are now...
Half-a-billion dollars of bitcoins disappear
4th March - "Easier"
Almost $500 million of bitcoins disappeared from a company in Japan. It was one of the world's biggest dealers in bitcoins.
No Lesson


See the links below for more.

Lessons were produced every day between Nov 2004 and Dec 2005.
Lessons were produced at "easier" and "harder" levels between Apr 2005 and Aug 2006.
Podcasts started in Apr 2005.

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